Sunday, November 23, 2014
Revolution steal first leg with Jermaine Jones winner
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This was a knock-em out, drag-em out type of game as the two sides that reside along Interstate 95 was going to battle it out to see who will take advantage in the 2nd leg at Gillette Stadium and with five minutes remaining in regulation time it would be Jermaine Jones who would slide into the ball and convert for the 2nd away goal for the Revolution and take a 2-1 lead on aggregate.
That one defensive breakdown that was so crucial for both sides went against the Red Bulls as Lee Nguyen made a nice pass to Teal Bunbury who stayed onside along with Jones and as Luis Robles came out to stop that ball, it was too late and Jones slid into it and converted.
It was a raucous start to the game as Red Bull Arena was 25,000 strong with over 1,200 visiting fans coming down from the Boston area that made you feel proud to be a fan of the game from the United States.
The first two goals of the match came quick and hard with a beautifully struck ball from Teal Bunbury who bent it from distance and splashed the inside of the far post for the first away goal of the match. But the Red Bulls found a way to climb back into this tie with a beauty of their own.
27th minute and the Red Bulls nearly lost the ball, but Ibrahim Sekagya found a way to retain possession and gave it to Ambroise Oyongo who sprinted down towards the net. A quick pass to Peguy Luyindula who took his first shot and a save by Bobby Shuttleworth, yet allowed a rebound chance to Luyindula again on the ground and a hard swing that nailed the post.
But it was Bradley Wright-Phillips who got to the rebound and headed it home to level the score and his 31st goal of the season in combined regular season & playoffs. But this game wasn’t just hard fought; it was also filled with Yellow cards that Referee Allen Chapman didn’t have to deal to both sides.
Questionable calls by this referee were aimed at both sides and once again this game which was a fantastic effort from both sides was ruined by Chapman who continues to fail as a so-called top official from either PRO or US Soccer. Bradley Wright-Phillips who was carrying a yellow card got booked for Encroachment on a free kick foul will now miss the 2nd leg on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
But for Head Coach Mike Petke he felt the start was a bit slow as usual for his side. “We usually start a little bit on the back foot almost every game. They stepped up and pressed, they had the header from (Jermaine) Jones which was one of about three of four clear chances they had and that woke us up a little bit. And then our passing was very good in the first half. Our ability to find Eric (Alexander) and Peguy (Luyindula) behind the line and free Bradley (Wright-Phillips) up, Lloyd (Sam)” had a good day.
Now with five days between games can the Red Bulls ratchet up their intensity and try to return the favor like the Revolution did against them. One away goal won’t be enough as the Red Bulls need two to force the situation on Aggregate, we shall see what happens.
Author: Daniel Feuerstein